Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Environmental risk factors for brain tumors. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2007 May;7(3):208-14



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-34249717736   62 Citations


Primary brain tumors, whether malignant or nonmalignant, have devastating consequences. Unfortunately, few known causes exist. Despite decades of epidemiologic research to identify environmental causes of brain tumors, very little progress has been made. The purpose of this paper is to review the most recent studies in the epidemiology of brain tumors. Popular topics of interest in adult brain tumor epidemiology include electromagnetic fields (particularly cellular phones), occupational exposures, nitroso-containing compounds (especially smoking), hair products, and allergic and immunologic factors. Some of these topics are also applicable to the etiology of childhood brain tumors, but additional areas of interest in the pediatric population focus on parental exposure prior to conception, maternal exposure during pregnancy, and childhood exposure to infectious agents. After an extensive review of the literature since 2001, we present the most relevant studies. Although there are many proposed associations with brain tumors, none possess the statistical significance to confidently ascribe causation. However, new findings and associations, particularly those in allergy and immunology, will present interesting opportunities for further development.

Author List

Connelly JM, Malkin MG


Jennifer M. Connelly MD Professor in the Neurology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Brain Neoplasms
Electromagnetic Fields
Environmental Exposure
Hair Dyes
Nitroso Compounds
Occupational Exposure
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Risk Factors